It’s Not a Bad Thing if Someone Calls You Racist

I think there’s almost nothing more important in this world than not being racist, not being sexist and not being a total asshole. So when someone suggests that you are racist, that person is doing you a favor and pointing out the specific things that are stopping you from reaching those goals. It feels bad at the moment, and will probably be followed by a lot of defensiveness, but what you do next is what matters.

Are you going to defend yourself to the death and insist that there is no way that anything you said was even slightly racist, or are you going to stop and think for a minute that maybe this person, who has experienced institutionalized racism for their entire life, might have a point?

The funny thing about it is that a common complaint among white people who have been called racist is that calling someone racist isn’t helpful in advancing the discourse. Instead they suggest that it’s more helpful for people of color to try to politely educate white people on why what they did was racist. The issue with that is that it’s hard enough living in a racist society for all of your life, and it becomes even harder if you have to deal with racist things as politely as possible. They are doing you a favor when they call you racist because they are telling you “You have done something offensive”. However the burden of learning what you did wrong falls on you, not them.

If you care enough about not being racist, you’ll think very hard about whether they have a point or not, and if you think that you are the exceptional case in which the racism claim was actually insane then that’s great for you, but most of the time you are probably wrong.

I was specifically called sexist when I was about 22 years old, for a comment I made about women’s tennis, and the reasons why it was more popular than other women’s based sports (I think I said it had to do with the attire and attractiveness of the women who played). The woman who called me sexist was so upset that she stormed out of the room. I honestly don’t remember my exact statement, and my reaction when being called sexist was “you’re a crazy idiot”, which all of my male friends who were in the room immediately agreed with. Now over fifteen years later, I feel pretty confident that whatever I said was indeed sexist. Unfortunately I didn’t learn from it at the time, and because my non female friends (obviously world class experts on sexism) backed me up, I didn’t even try to think deeper about it.

This is a common pitfall when you are called racist, because it’s normal that many of your white friends will tell you that you are totally not racist and the accusations are insane and without any merit.

A few years ago I wrote a blog in which I made a comparison between women’s based prizes in chess tournaments to affirmative action. My blog was called racist by at least one person, maybe two. At the least what I wrote was very insensitive, and it’s made me realize that just because I usually have the typical beliefs that a non racist person is supposed to have, it doesn’t mean that I’m immune from doing and saying some pretty offensive things.

I’ve had too many overly strong opinions on whether girls should play in all-girl chess tournaments or not. The entire time I wrote pieces about this subject, I never stopped to realize that I have no experience in what it’s like to be a girl playing in a tournament where 90% of the players are boys. I hope I wouldn’t make this same mistake today.

I think I’ve learned a lot by following a few particular people on Twitter. One good follow is @absurdistwords. His Twitter bio reads “I try to foster rational discourse on those sensitive subjects that divide us”. There are people out there who are making an a serious effort to educate the public on what racism or sexism looks like, and I think I’ve become less racist by following and paying attention to them.

So it’s really not a bad thing to be called racist. Just like me, you probably aren’t some special angel white person who doesn’t have a racist bone in their body. Be grateful for your free lessons on how to be more sensitive to people of color.

Chess Coaches Should Stop Taking Credit for Their Students Achievements 

It happens almost every time an American kid does well in anything:

1. There are Facebook posts by one or many coaches who have been part of this child’s chess life, always making it clear in some way, perhaps with just a passing sentence, that they coached them.

2. An article gets written on USChess

3. One or two coaches aren’t mentioned, or aren’t mentioned as the “main coach” and they start freaking out and sending annoying emails and making comments at the kids parents or other places online.

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The whole situation is weirder given that so many of the top kids literally have five or more coaches that they work with from time to time.

Here is my advice on what to do when one of your students wins anything:

Congratulate them privately for sure, and even publicly if you want. It’s natural to be excited about the success of one of your students! But when you congratulate them don’t mention that you had even the slightest role in their successes by coaching them. If you are truly such a great coach, they will tell everyone for you.

Famed author and coach, Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard said this about the subject:

“I personally don’t take credit for the success of my students, but I also understand that people have families and need to get more students”.

I don’t want coaches to cost themselves business by being “too polite”, although I don’t think publicly declaring that you are someone’s coach has any effect on whether you will get more students. At the same time I’m not saying that you never have to mention to anyone that you coached some strong and accomplished players. What I’m saying is right at the moment when they’ve had one of their greatest triumphs, don’t do anything to draw attention away from them, and don’t use their success as a prop to build your name.

I’d suggest posting something like “Congratulations to XXX, an amazingly hard worker who deserves all of her success!” Don’t write “Congratulations to my student XXX! We have been studying hard for the last year, he totally deserves this victory, and I’m honored to be part of this journey”. In one case you are praising only the student. In the other case, you are praising yourself and the student and it comes off as incredibly tacky.

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I have coached a lot of kids and run a program called the US Chess School, in which hundreds of top American kids have come through the program.

I admit that when kids who have attended the school do well, I publicize their achievements on our Instagram page, as we are loyal to our campers and want to make sure their successes are heard far and wide. It’s an added bonus that while we never specifically mention our program in these congratulatory posts, it still makes us look good.

But my honest opinion is that my efforts coaching at the US Chess School have had a relatively small effect on any individual student. Sometimes they win something right after a camp and their parents send us an email thanking us, perhaps thinking that our camp was to reason for their success.

It wasn’t. Kids don’t magically get better during a one week chess camp. The kids who come to our camp are already extremely strong and very capable of winning major titles without us. It’s not hard to just pick out the top rated kids, invite them to a camp, and then start taking credit when they do well. Of course they did well, they are the top rated kids in the United States! I’m not going to say it’s completely impossible that something stuck with a kid that happened during one of our camps and indirectly led to a win here or there, but most of the time it’s just a total coincidence.

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An example lesson from the U.S. Chess School

A longtime personal coach is likely to have more influence than a coach at a one week training session, but I still believe that almost all of the credit should go to the student. When a kid wins something it’s the hard work that this kid has put into chess for so many years of their life. It’s the energy and nerves that they expended during the tournament. It takes a strong character and work ethic to win a major chess championship.

In most cases these kids were probably going to be really good with or without their coach. Maybe the coach helped a little and maybe in some cases they even helped a lot, but who really knows? The only thing we do know is that the kid worked very hard for their achievements and that a great coach lets their student take all the glory.

At this time I would like to thank the following coaches who I believe directly helped my chess development and for whom I remembered various lessons they taught me decades later:

Grandmaster Sergey Kudrin: He taught me the Dragon, which I played for a large part of my career. He also guided me towards the Tarrasch French which is probably the reason why my favorite move to face when I play 1.e4 is 1…e6. I was only about 1700-1800 when we worked together, but I believe he helped me to form a good foundation for the future.

Steve Shutt: “Mr. Shutt” was the coach at Masterman high school and his major sacrifices allowed me to play in many tournaments and matches that I may not have been able to otherwise. He would literally drive us home from matches at 10-11pm on school nights. His chess program also allowed me to spend time on chess during school every day, which was obviously very useful.

International Master John Donaldson: I had only a few lessons with him but he taught me a lot of really useful opening ideas that I still use today and used a lot when I was younger. Most memorable are the ideas in the Panov Botvinnik. He also is the main driving force behind the Mechanics Institute, where I have played many memorable events.

GM Mark Dvoretsky: I’ve learned a ton from him and have had one or two lessons with him in person, but in reality I learned the most from his books. I love his scientific approach to chess that leaves room for psychological factors as well. In my opinion his chess books are the absolute best ever written. I’d be remiss to not mention his weakness of taking too much credit for the success of his students.

GM Gregory Kaidanov: He taught me lots about practical chess which I still think about today. For instance the idea that you should never spend more than 15 minutes on a single move. He also taught me some lesser known rules of thumb that I find very useful, but they are top secret so I can’t share them here.

And of course I have to mention the best coach of all, FM Michael Shahade. Without the various lessons he sprinkled throughout my childhood, I would never have been close to as strong as I am today.

I probably forgot someone, so please send your angry letters about how you didn’t get the credit you deserve in the form of a comment on this blog.

I Just Want to Watch Grown Men Give Each Other Brain Damage Without All This Political Crap!

Is it too much to ask that I can’t just sit on my sofa while a bunch of grown men destroy each other’s brain cells for money and entertainment, without subjecting me to one minute of watching them kneel during our national anthem?

They are paid to slowly kill each other so that they are vegetables when they reach old age. They aren’t paid to make patriotic Americans like me think about annoying stuff like racism and police brutality.

First of all if you want to protest, you need to do so on your own time, not at your place of work. Now I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure this remains true even if your bosses specifically tell you that you have the right to protest at work.

Secondly, wouldn’t it be appropriate for these athletes to make their statement in a more respectful way? I can think of at least hundreds of other ways they could make the same point, and get maybe 1/1000th of the media coverage. That way they could say all they wanted about racism, police corruption, inequality and the school to prison pipeline, without anyone actually having to listen to it.

Yes, I agree that there actually is racism in this country, but there is no worse time to discuss that than right before a football game. As a white man, who is therefore a major expert on this subject, racism seems like the kind of thing we can just talk about whenever it’s convenient. But definitely not before a football game or right after an innocent black man is shot and killed by a police officer that will be acquitted of all charges six months later. These are all definitely the wrong times.

Also why is Colin Kaepernick protesting when he so clearly lives a blessed life? He is a millionaire athlete and is living the American dream, what does he have to complain about? We all know that when someone protests something, they are specifically protesting only the effect it has on them personally. For instance I only donate to organizations that help end World Hunger when I’m really hungry and all the pizza places are closed.  Therefore shouldn’t it only be the poorest Americans protesting inequality so we can safely ignore them like usual? I just don’t get it.

As you all know, our National Anthem is not a song in which we celebrate to show pride in our country. No, the National Anthem is actually a tribute to our military forces, and if you don’t do exactly what you are supposed to do (stand tall with your hand over your heart), you are specifically disrespecting the military. What could be more American than a song in which everyone has to behave exactly the same way while it’s playing or they will be ostracized! The main exceptions to this rule are obviously if you are at home watching a sports game, in a bar watching a game, or literally anywhere except at the stadium during the game. The anthem actually doesn’t really count unless you are physically there when it’s being played. It’s a weird rule I know, but I didn’t make it! Check out more about how insulted all veterans are here. Or here. Or here. God they all hate him so much, it’s painful to read!

Now I know what you’re thinking: “The guy who made the Anthem was a slave owner and even included verses about slavery in the Anthem itself! So why should we be surprised when black Americans are hesitant about honoring the anthem?”

Well there’s an easy answer to that: Slavery was a long time ago and almost everyone owned slaves, so it was kind of normal. Or as they say these days: NBD.

I know I’d gladly stand to salute a song that was written by someone who thought it was normal to enslave my great grandparents, it’s just too bad that one of those songs isn’t our anthem and I haven’t had the chance to experience that reality. Oh well!

Honestly, if you think our country is so bad, why don’t you just leave! It’s obvious that if there is something wrong with your nation, the brave and honorable thing to do is to leave right away. As an added bonus I’ve found that it’s really easy to just pack up your life and move to another country. It’s a win win for everyone!

Past protests such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the Freedom Riders, or many of the other nonviolent actions in the 1950s and 60’s, led to massive changes to help Civil Rights in the United States. It’s interesting that at the time of those campaigns, all of them were wildly unpopular among white adults! The people in that era thought these methods of protesting were extremely inappropriate and ineffective. Of course those critics have all been proven wrong as time has passed.

What I’d like to tell you today is that this time, we are actually right! This time the systemic racism that the black community is experiencing, is actually not worth protesting, especially in a way that makes me think about it for more than 5 seconds when I’m just trying to watch people who will probably get brain damage while entertaining me. It’s going to be so great in thirty years when I’m an old man and I read the history books and they say:

“Non Violent Protests at NFL games made people aware of structural racism and helped mobilize the nation to confront these issues and make major changes to our laws and legal structures, but it should have been done more respectfully”.

Then finally Colin Kaepernick and all you snowflake SJW’s will have learned your lesson.

Random Pairings Make Chess Players Go Crazy

At the Chess.com Isle of Man International, which is taking place right now, the entire chess world’s brains exploded when the first round of the Open used a random pairing system, and Caruana and Kramnik got paired.

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All of this shows me the lack of imagination in the chess world.

How many open chess tournaments do we have each year? Hundreds, maybe thousands even? How many of them use the exact same pairing system? It’s pretty close to all of them.

So we have every single tournament in the world, doing the exact same thing every time. I’m going to admit that the Swiss System is a great system, and works perfectly fine as the standard pairing system for an open event. However the problem with the chess community is:

Almost any change causes everyone to freak out

Is a random pairing system unfair? Absolutely not. The results of the random draw for one particular event may be unfair, but over the long run it will turn out to be pretty fair. Everyone worries so much about Carlsen, Kramnik and how important their pairings are, but there are hundreds of players in the tournament and they matter too.

If there are 100 players, why should player 51 automatically have to play the top seeded player when nearly half the field is lower rated than her?

Why should someone ranked 70th have to play a tougher opponent than someone ranked 100th? Is that objectively fair?

This is not a closed event, and I think it’s reasonable for every player to have equal rights from the start of the event. There is nothing more equal and fair than the pairings being randomly determined in the early rounds of an event (within a scoregroup).

The Swiss System is inherently slightly unfair. Over a short sample of tournaments it will likely be MORE fair than the results of randomized pairings, but over a long sample of tournaments the randomized pairings will be fairer to all players in the event (not just the top ones).

The issue is that chess players cannot see past the one individual tournament, and therefore they are happy to accept some small degree of inherent unfairness in order to assure that any one tournament isn’t too affected by “lucky pairings”.

Let me emphasize that once again I agree that the Swiss System is a fine system, and I’m not suggesting that it gets thrown into the trash heap. It’s completely normal that most Open events should continue to use it. But while I have your attention, let me try to improve upon the Swiss System:

Computers are pretty smart these days. It shouldn’t be difficult to set up a tournament so the first round or two is random, and then the computer could go out of it’s way to “equalize” the strength of opponents that people within a score group have faced throughout the tournament. So for example, if Kramnik and Caruana play in Round 1, then the computer will do what it can to slowly make their pairings easier during the remainder of the tournament. Something like this could be even more fair than the typical Swiss Pairings. Instead of using a system that ignores any luck of the draw from the previous rounds, this new pairing system would check to see who has had easier or harder pairings, and then alter the later pairings to make it more fair for those who had the tougher draw.

So imagine you have 4 players, two who have an average opponent’s rating of 2600 and two who have an average opponent’s rating of 2500, the computer would aim to give the ones who faced a 2500 average the higher rated opponents. If you’ve had easy pairings all tournament and are tied for the lead in the final few rounds, this system will try to give you the toughest pairings they can. Can you tell me any reason why something like this would not be more “fair” than the Swiss System?

What I’m suggesting is that when someone tries something different, and one which has obvious logical merits, that everyone doesn’t freak out because maybe one of the top players in the world got an unlucky break. In an open tournament everyone matters, not just the top 5 seeds. And by trying new things, we could experiment and perhaps find a way to improve upon the way things have been done for so long, such as my idea of a pairing system which specifically tries to equalize every player’s strength of opponent as the tournament progresses.

And lastly, the players all knew what the pairing system was and they agreed to play in the tournament. At the time of this writing, Caruana and Kramnik are playing an exciting chess game.

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They are possibly taking more risk than they would have if the game took place at the end of the tournament. Why are we complaining about this!

Azmaiparashvili is a Cheating Scumbag

I’m writing this blog out of rage for the injustice that was just suffered by Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov.

Anton just forfeited from the FIDE World Cup after an incident involving his clothing choices, despite having worn the same clothing for the first two rounds without issue. Below is a brief snippet of his post game statement:

“The issue were not the shorts but how I was treated. I came to the game and was approached by the arbiter asking me to change (first time). I told him that I don’t have pants with me, and then I noticed that I was playing black instead of white, which came as a surprise for me and asked him to check that. He and the other arbiters checked and confirmed to me that I’m playing with black, we talked a little and everything was fine. Then came Zurab, he was very agressive, yelling at me and using the racial slur “gypsy” to insult me, apart from mentioning several times that I will be punished by FIDE. I told him that I had asked before at the previous world cup if what I was wearing was OK and I was told by somebody from the organization that yes. Zurab, in a prepotent way, said he doesn’t care, he’s the organizer now. At this point I was really angry but tried not to do anything stupid, and asked him why he was so rude to me, and he said because I’m a gypsy.”

This is what happens when you allow well known cheaters and unethical people to have such major involvement in your chess events. They end up using racial slurs to intimidate and harass the players.

If you go to the following link, which is titled “cheating in chess”, you can read about how Azmaiparashvili created a tournament out of thin air in order to reach the chess elite. He gained 50 ELO points in a fabricated tournament with 3 other players. The tournament was a sextuple round robin, in which everyone faced everyone else 6 times. Azmaiparashvili finished with 16/18, and another player rated 2400, Rolando Kutirov, finished with 11.5/18, enough to get his GM title. Meanwhile the two 2500+ rated GM’s, Kurajica and Rashkovsky, finished with 4.5 and 4 points out of 18.

Here’s a link to the crosstable and the fabricated games.

Here is a quote from Veselin Topalov, for why he withdrew from the Grand Prix cycle in 2017.

“The last degradation of the FIDE happened during the Opening Ceremony of the World Blitz and Rapid Championship 2017 in Qatar. The person appointed by FIDE to open the Championship was no other than Zurab Azmaiparashvili, ECU President with a large record of unethical and even criminal acts during his career. These unethical acts he committed both as a player and as a FIDE official include buying an entire tournament in Strumica 95, and the case of sexual harassment in Mexico in 2007.”

So to sum it all up, we have a guy who is well known by everyone to be a massive cheater, was thrown out of a hotel in 2007 for sexual harassment, and has committed many other unethical acts during his career in chess, and yet somehow he is named as an official for the FIDE World Cup?

There is nothing less surprising than hearing that he called Kovalyov a gypsy on multiple occasions, because this is how Azmaiparashvili behaves. He says and does whatever he wants without any repercussion. He made up a tournament to reach the world elite and later went on to become FIDE Vice President.

What should happen now? This is a difficult question, but one in which I believe in my answer.

The top players in the world should band together and refuse to play until Azmaiparashvili is removed from his role as organizer and is forced to leave the premises. I admit it’s very unlikely that this will occur, as the elite chess community has a rich history of turning a blind eye to the corruption and greed that is so evident at the top of the FIDE food chain. It’s understandable, they love chess and FIDE does provide them generous sums of money to play at the highest level. Is it really worth it to risk your reputation and career for something like this? While I think that the answer is yes, I’m not going to hold it against everyone for staying quiet and continuing to play chess under the auspices of known cheaters and bullies.

I also hope that organizers around the world show Kovalyov some love and give him invites to a few major tournaments. When one of the top players in the world is treated in such an unfair manner by a top FIDE official, the chess community should band together to make sure that this player knows that we don’t think that what happened was okay. Good for Anton for not debasing himself and playing in a tournament where he was treated in such a manner. He could have won a lot of money, but his dignity was worth more to him.

Meanwhile Azmaiparashvili should be asked to resign from any official role he has in the chess world. This guy has been a cheater for decades now, it’s getting boring already. Just go away and keep getting crushed by me online.

Should We Talk About the Differences Between Men and Women?

This morning I woke up to about 15 messages on Facebook messenger. They were sent to me by one of the top chess players in the world, who I have never truly met, and never really spoken to, but who was frustrated with the tone of the discussion that followed from my last blog post. This player is well known to be extremely gracious and friendly, so it is important to make it clear that the messages were very civil and polite, but that at the same time something that was bothering him.

The issue was simply that he felt there are obvious differences between men and women, yet anytime someone took the step of speaking about these differences, they would be immediately branded a sexist, and therefore it stifled any intellectual discussion on the topic. Because I have always held this player in the highest regard, I felt that it would be a great idea to try to write about this topic.

Let’s start with something that I think we all agree on. When you take large populations of people that have some kind of clear difference between them, regardless of what that difference may be, it’s likely that these people as a whole, won’t be identical in all aspects of life. This can be for many reasons, such as their upbringing, how the world reacts to them, or in some cases maybe there may be genetic differences.

One of the problems I see when people try to have a public discussion about these differences, is that in almost every case in which someone publicly states that “X and Y groups of people are different in Z way”, the person making this comment falls under the category of X, and then attributes the most socially desirable traits to X, the less socially desirable traits to Y, and they are often doing so without the necessary background to make such claims.

For example, Chess Grandmaster Nigel Short once claimed that men are “hardwired” to be better at chess than women and said the following:

“I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do,” he said. “Likewise, she doesn’t feel embarrassed in asking me to maneuver the car out of our narrow garage. One is not better than the other, we just have different skills.”

“It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”

The reason that the above was troubling is because Nigel who is a man and a world class expert in chess, is putting down the ability of women to play chess well. To make up for that slight, he is then comparing that to the fact that one woman, his wife, has better emotional intelligence than he does.

My sister, 2 time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion Jenn Shahade has this to say:

“The obsession with gender difference in fields like chess is repetitive, negative and self perpetuating. Unless you have some mind blowing new point to make, I’d rather hear your thoughts on Hou Yifan’s games in Biel or a book you recently enjoyed by a woman.”

So why is James Damore also receiving criticism? It’s because he is doing a similar thing. I took a look at his manifesto and to me it reads clearly as someone who is painting women in a less positive light, and using this to explain why Google should be less focused on including women in their workforce. He is sneaky about how he does it, and he is careful to include many disclaimers along the way, but there’s a reason women are upset and it’s because it comes off as derogatory. One part in particular that seems offensive would be when he describes women as being more neurotic than men:

“Women, on average, have more neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance). This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.”

Also Google seems to be doing just fine with the practices they’ve been using. Maybe if a company like Google, which is one of the biggest and most well known companies in the world, is championing diversity to this degree, there’s some merit behind it?

So how can we talk about the differences between two large groups of people in a constructive way? My advice: Just don’t do it

Let’s be honest, have we ever really gained anything from having this discussion? Has it ever been great for our population to discuss how men are more logical thinkers and women are more emotional thinkers? Every woman is different and every man is different. There is always a danger that when we stereotype people, that those who hold power will use these stereotypes to keep other people out of power. You see it time and time again in politics with the laughable idea that “women are too emotional”. I find that this is a problem because:

  1. It’s created a negative connotation of emotional women, and emotion in general. Therefore some politically motivated women may feel the need to behave as unemotionally as possible, which may end up making them less likable. Emotion is a normal part of being a human being and showing natural emotions should be celebrated, not derided.
  2. Given our current president, it’s hard to take this idea seriously.

On a much more serious note, completely fabricated “natural” differences between races were used as justification for evils such as slavery or the holocaust.

So yes, I believe there are clear and obvious dangers when trying to have discussions about these topics. I know that intellectually this is a bit of a cop out. It should be possible to responsibly discuss the differences between men and women without coming under fire. But another important question to ask is “Is a discussion of this topic productive?”. If the answer is that it’s actually a detrimental discussion to have, that could lead to harmful consequences, I believe that it is reasonable to discourage the entire line of thought, and to fight back against those who engage in this type of discussion.

There is almost no example you can look back upon and say “stereotyping these people really helped us”, while at the same time it’s clear that stereotyping people has led to some of the gravest injustice and evil throughout human history. I think it’s a mistake to ignore this.

 

Can we stop listening to liars please?

Recently James Damore, was fired for a memo he wrote while working at Google. I didn’t read it as I really don’t have time to read more pseudo science about the differences between men and women from random guys. The content of his memo is not the purpose of this blog.

The point of this blog is to expose James Damore is a liar. And not only is he a liar, but he’s the type of liar who lies for sport about extremely minor things.

On his resume he listed himself as a FIDE Master of chess, which is a lie. FIDE is the International governing body of chess, and FIDE Master is the third highest title you can achieve. Based on his easy to find playing history, James is not even remotely close to this title. I admit that he’s probably not the first person in history to lie on his resume, but what he did next is astounding.

He hosted an AMA on Reddit, which is short for “ask me anything”. In that AMA he received the following question:

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Since his lie was now exposed, he could have done a number of things. For example:

  1. He could have ignored the question completely. This would be a normal response given that there are hundreds of people asking him questions and he can’t reply to all of them. If he did this I would have just chalked the whole thing up to him lying on his resume.
  2. He could admit that he told a lie. (Liars don’t usually do this)

What did Damore do instead? He doubled down on his lie!

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His response includes even more lies and complete fabrications. Literally not a single thing in his reply makes any sense. I don’t want to bog this down with chess details, but 2300, not 2200, has always been the requirement get the FIDE Master title and you can easily check the records of any player online (you can download old rating lists here). There is no such thing as “FIDE membership elapsing”. Anyone who played even a single rated FIDE tournament can easily be looked up online.

Think hard about what type of person would do this. Think about the type of character this person would possess?  He’s decided consciously: “I lied about this and now someone is calling me out on it, let me think of a further lie that may satisfy them”.

This is the behavior of a lying narcissist who is used to getting whatever they want in life, and is also used to there being no consequences for his actions. Given the fact that no one seems to care that he’s a liar but instead is more concerned on his uneducated opinion of the differences between men and women, he’s being proven correct.

When someone is willing to tell a blatant and calculated lie about something so inconsequential, what are they going to do when they have the chance to lie about something with real importance? Of course they are going to lie, because that’s what liars do. They lie, and lie and lie again, if they think it will help them.

As a community we need to do better at this. People weren’t asking Richard Nixon for ethics advice or his various opinions on things after he resigned in disgrace. If you think about the people in your life that you respect and look up to, none of them will just lie to you about petty bullshit. But James decided he would. And because of that, his voice is no longer relevant. He has shown himself to have a low moral character and shouldn’t be taken seriously about anything.